Curatorial Conversations: Thelma Golden and Joseph Rosa

Members’ Event

Thursday, June 17, 2021
5:00 – 6:00 pm


Join Frye Art Museum Director/CEO, Joseph Rosa and Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, Thelma Golden for our summer, members-only Curatorial Conversation. The pair will discuss contemporary and historical issues surrounding the nationwide tour of Black Refractions: Highlights from the Studio Museum in Harlem.

About the Curatorial Conversations Series

Frye members are invited to listen, learn, and engage with curators, artists, and the creative community in our new, members-only virtual series.

  • Quarterly program
  • 5:00–5:45 pm live discussion followed by 15 minute Q+A

*This event is a benefit for current Frye Members only. Not a member yet? Join today and register for this event.

About the Presenters

Thelma Golden is Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, where she began her career in 1987 before joining the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1988. She returned to the Studio Museum in 2000 as Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs, and was named Director and Chief Curator in 2005. Golden was appointed to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House by President Obama in 2010, and in 2015 joined the Barack Obama Foundation’s Board of Directors. Golden was the recipient of the 2016 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. In 2018, Golden was awarded a J. Paul Getty Medal. She has received honorary degrees from Bard College, the City College of New York, Columbia University, and Smith College.

Joseph Rosa is Director/CEO of the Frye Art Museum (2016–present). Prior to his appointment at the Frye Art Museum, Rosa was Director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art; the John H. Bryan Curatorial Chair of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago; the Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Curator of Architecture at the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA; the Chief Curator at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC; and the Director of the Columbia Architecture Galleries. Rosa has been a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities; a recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts; and a juror for the Pew Trust, USA Fellows, American Institute of Architects, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He holds an M.S. in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from the Pratt Institute.

About The Studio Museum in Harlem and Black Refractions

Founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists and philanthropists, The Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in promoting the work of artists of African descent. Thelma Golden is Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, the world’s leading institution devoted to visual art by artists of African descent. Golden launched her influential curatorial practice when she joined the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her groundbreaking exhibition Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in American Art, in 1994 was featured in the documentary Black Art: In the Absence of Light. The Museum’s groundbreaking exhibitions, thought-provoking conversations, and engaging art-making workshops continue at a variety of partner and satellite locations in Harlem.

Black Refractions features works in a variety of mediums by nearly eighty artists and celebrates The Studio Museum in Harlem’s role as a site for the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society.

Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem is organized by the American Federation of Arts and The Studio Museum in Harlem. This exhibition is curated by Connie H. Choi, Associate Curator of the Permanent Collection at The Studio Museum in Harlem. The presentation at the Frye Art Museum is coordinated by Amanda Donnan, Chief Curator, with David Strand, Associate Curator.

Major support for Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem is provided by Art Bridges. Sponsorship for the national tour provided in part by PURE. Support for the accompanying publication provided by Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.

Generous support for the installation at the Frye Art Museum is provided by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Hotel Sorrento, the Frye Foundation, and the Board of Trustees: Rhoda Altom, Mike Doherty, Gail Goralski, Jan Hendrickson, James Miles, Jennifer Potter, and Stuart Williams. News media sponsorship is provided by The Seattle Times. Broadcast media sponsorship is provided by KCTS 9.

Photo: Julie Skarratt; Photo: Jonathan Vanderweit


Advance registration is required.


Registration is confirmed by email.


The Frye Art Museum reserves the right to cancel any program. In case of cancellation, registrants will be notified by email.


Privacy Statement

The event will be hosted on Zoom, an online platform. If joining by video, your image and/or name may be visible to others. When logging in, you may choose to hide your video, or to rename yourself using a pseudonym, if you would like to protect your privacy. While attendees are encouraged to join from a private location where discussion will not be overheard, confidentiality is not guaranteed. This session may be recorded and used by the Frye Art Museum in its sole discretion.